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Learning Center Experience
Dr. Lisa Campbell is a medical coding professional through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Throughout her career, Dr. Campbell has served as a health care administrator and medical coding manager, and has even launched her own business called Physician Practice Resources, Inc. as President and CEO. This is a major accomplishment for an experienced medical coding professional.
Additionally, Dr. Campbell teaches for the Medical Billing and Coding Certificate and Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management programs at Kaplan University's School of Health Sciences.
The practice of medical billing and coding has its challenges and rewards. After years of experience in the field, Dr. Campbell describes her current scope of responsibility as critical to "clinical documentation improvement, provider education, and other operational tasks." The health industry is ever-changing, which requires health care professionals to constantly hone their skills.
One recent, significant change for medical billing and coding in the United States was the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in 2015. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) takes the practice of medicine and breaks medical care into discrete parts; these parts are assigned codes, which are used for documentation, reimbursement, and ultimately the coordination of patient care. "Every day I learn something new!" said Dr. Campbell, "I am motivated each day to ensure quality documentation."
Before starting a career path in medical billing and coding, emerging professionals need to "research the industry first," according to Dr. Campbell. Since medical and billing coding professionals are tasked with ensuring quality documentation, the industry will demand certain traits from new professionals, such as the desire to contribute to the quality care provided to patients and lifelong learning within a rapidly changing field.
Employment of health information technicians, a category that includes medical coders, is expected to increase, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting the growth rate for the occupation to be much faster than average through 2024.* Dr. Campbell suggests that individuals interested in the medical billing and coding profession should "understand the role of health information management (HIM) professionals"-particularly the ways in which medical and billing professionals further their education and seek career advancement within the field of HIM.
Emerging professionals should research and join the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), as many of the national certification exams are provided by this association. As recommended by Dr. Campbell, new graduates with a medical billing and coding credential and national certification "may not attain some of the perks reserved for those who have years of experience" (e.g., work-from-home opportunities, owning a small business, etc.). Furthermore, new professionals will likely need to seek entry-level positions to gain the work experience necessary for career advancement.
Dr. Campbell believes that medical billing and coding professionals should have a good work/life balance, and notes that exercise is key to striking this balance for her. Over the next few years, she will focus on the strategic growth of her company-continuing to ensure the quality of clinical documentation. Additionally, she will contribute to the Medical Billing and Coding Certificate and Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management programs at Kaplan University.
*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual and not of Kaplan University. Kaplan University’s degree and certificate programs are not endorsed by Physician Practice Resources, Inc.
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